Author Archives: christopher scott author

Review: Koshchei the Deathless #1

Sent to kill Hellboy by the Baba Yaga in Darkness Calls, Koshchei the Deathless hinted at a long and tragic life before being enslaved to the Russian witch. Now Koshchei relives every horrible act on his road to immortality and beyond, with none other than Hellboy himself–in Hell.

Mike Mignola returns to Hell and to the bizarre folklore that’s filled some of his greatest books, reuniting with one of his favorite collaborators, Ben Stenbeck.

The history of Koshchei begins to be revealed in Koshchei the Deathless #1. The first issue shows the bloody and violent nature of his life as an unkillable soldier and how that came to be. We also get glimpses of his brief happy moments as the husband of a princess, of a land unknown. The happiness is brief as he is killed but that also emphasizes the tragedy of it all. The tragedy leads to the tragedy and bloody path of his future actions.

Like most things set in the Mignola-verse, there is a proper sense of darkness in the story, that is reflected in the art by Ben Stenbeck. Stenbeck mixes in some images to hint at the historical aspect of it all along with the fantastical elements of the Mingola Hellboy world.

The first issue is a fantastic one adding another layer to the Hellboy universe and as usual mixes the fantastical and the grounded for a perfect mix.

Story: Mike Mignola Art: Ben Stenbeck
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Monstro Mechanica #1

A new series starring Leonardo da Vinci, his female apprentice, Isabel, and their wooden robot!

At the height of the Renaissance, warring factions vie for control of Leonardo da Vinci’s destructive arsenal. The only thing standing in their way is Leonardo’s young apprentice and her nine-foot tall mechanical bodyguard. Together, they navigate a world of wicked men and war machines, determined to save Leonardo from the world—and the world from Leonardo.

“Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Nothing says Renaissance quiet, like political and religious power struggles colliding against each other and writer Paul Allor delivers that and more in Monstro Mechanica #1. As possibly the very definition of a Renaissance man, Leonardo DaVinci is thrown into the mix of it all bringing his genius and interesting mechanical creations. Everyone wants his services to gain power and then there’s the mystery of his mechanical monster and his ass-kicking assistant.

The art by Chris Evenhuis has a lot of forced perspective. It helps create numerous superb views of Florence from the streets to the roofs. There’s also a vibrant color palette to match and creates the necessary shift from day to night. There’s also some great detail like period accurate clothing to make everything almost believable.

Story: Paul Allor Art: Chris Evenhuis
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Aftershock Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review Black Hammer #9

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In the golden age of space exploration, Colonel Randall Weird was on the frontlines. In his interstellar travels he encountered many strange worlds and alien civilizations, but none more curious than the technological marvel that became his best friend: Talky-Walky! Guest artist David Rubin reveals her robotic backstory in this special issue of Black Hammer!

Writer Jeff Lemire manages to throw a few curveballs into things with Black Hammer #9. This issue also reveals how Colonel Weird met Talky-Walky, so check off one of the many mysteries of the series. The series is always interesting and this issue has an almost pulp sci-fi tale style. That’s especially present given how the tale is told as the past and present collide.

The art style by David Rubin continues to shine in this odd superhero mystery. We finally get to view Talky-Walky’s home world in this issue and Rubin delivers visuals that’ll get you to linger with some series vibrant alien landscapes. Not to mention some interesting looking robots.

As always, Black Hammer is one of the best superhero comics out there.

Story: Jeff Lemire Art: David Rubin
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Riftworld Legends #1-#4

In the Age of Discovery, explorers searching for India stumble on the mythical lost continent of Hy-Breasal. When two seamen are marooned on its hostile and uncharted shores, their struggle for survival triggers an epic, sprawling adventure. This is the secret history of Earth’s collision with a fantastical realm of monsters and magic at the dawn of the Renaissance. It is the story of the ordinary men and women who cross between worlds, destined to become heroes.

Riftworld Legends is an unexpected adventure or misadventure of forbidden history. The series reveals what the current ruling religious doesn’t want the public to know. The point of view the story is told from changes as past and present switch on and off. The series manages to balance both without becoming overwhelming as they lead to each other and plotlines converge.

The art is colorful and brings in a proper sense of danger and fantasy to the story. There’s the standard fantasy of giant monsters, Orc-like creatures, undead skeletons, and lush tropical jungles.  The series also features some well done if brief fight scenes as the two main characters in the story try to survive.

Story: Jonathan Williams Art: Daniel Wong
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Joe Books LTD provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review

Review: Grimm Fairy Tales: Dance of the Dead #3

There is no safe haven in the Shadowlands! As Mystere and Jasmine escape each threat they find another more deadly one waiting for them. Every danger they encounter seems to be pushing them deeper into the cursed land and towards a foreboding structure called The Tower…a place where legends say no one has ever returned from alive.

The cave of ice has more danger in it they initially believed in Grimm Fairy Tales: Dance of the Dead #3. With sheer dumb luck, they manage to escape the cave, finding themselves on the outskirts of a desert city. Yet, with more danger then they know on their tale. How long will they survive in the Shadowlands? Writer Anne Toole ups the action for this entry in the series.

The art by Marcio Abreu does a solid job of rendering the magic in this issue, along with bringing in the past with the sepia color scheme seen in previous issues.

Story: Anne Toole Art: Marcio Abreu
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Zenescope provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Aquaman Annual #1

Aquaman’s dream of unity between surface and sea has come true! A utopia of human and Atlantean ingenuity, and a symbol of harmony between the two cultures, the city of Crownspire is Arthur Curry’s greatest achievement. There Aquaman, Mera, and Tom Curry live in content. But who built Crownspire? Where is Murk? And what exactly is Tom Curry?

Something is very wrong with Aquaman’s world, and if he doesn’t find out soon he may never live to see another day.

Writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson gives us an impressive and dark annual for the king of the seas. Johnson manages to work in an aged Superman, and Hal Jordon, leaving Wonder Woman untouched by time’s passing, a solid detail that gets you to ponder about DC’s various superheroes. Johnson also creates a solid mystery as this idyllic world is not as it seems. For the brightness of the Crownspire, hides the darkest truth about it.

The art by Max Fiumara is superb. Bringing a great deal of contrast between what is real and what isn’t. Fiumara manages to change that at the end of the annual, as grief clouds Arthur and Mera’s minds. We also get to see a more golden age Atlantis renamed Crownspire.

It’s a great addition to the world of Aquaman, some of which I want to see more of from these two talents.

Story: Phillip Kennedy Johnson Art: Max Fiumara Cover: Max Fiumara
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Green Arrow Annual #1

Christmas is a time for reflection, relatives and…revenge! So says Count Vertigo, who returns to Seattle to send Oliver Queen on a violent, mind-bending journey into his own past and future. The hidden secrets of Green Arrow are laid bare in this oversize special that tests the already tenuous bonds between Team Arrow, featuring the long-awaited returns of Shado, Diggle and the dark archer Merlyn!

Writer Benjamin Percy tests the bonds and mental strength of the various members of Team Arrow. Percy forces them to confront their inner demons and greatest dreams, a fitting tale for the holiday season. But, it being a superhero comic, Count Vertigo is thrown in there too for a bit of action.

The art by Eleanor Carlini has a solid flow to it and smoothly shifts the character viewpoints as the story unfolds. That shifting perspective helps provide insight into Arsenal, Green Arrow, and Red Arrow as they try to figure out what is real, and what is an illusion. Carlini helps keeps you guessing through the art and brings in some interesting visuals in the process. If you pay close enough attention, there’s subtle hints at who the real villain is and what’s real and what’s not.

A solid annual that is a pick up and read for new fans.

Story: Benjamin Percy Art: Eleanor Carlini Cover: Jamal Campbell
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Imaginary Fiends #2

Melba is assigned to her first case, investigating a series of child disappearances in rural Georgia. As Melba and Agent Crockett uncover clues about the horror gripping the residents, Melba must resist both the temptation to escape into the real world after spending seven years locked up and the terrible appetite of the newly unleashed Polly Peachpit, Melba’s own personal psychic parasite—a massive spider-human only Melba can see, but is far from imaginary.

Rookie agent Melba has a lot to learn about solving child disappearances in Imaginary Fiends #2. By focusing on her bond with Polly Peachpit writer Tim Seely shows that Melba has a lot to offer the investigation. The series does well to emphasize that Melba gets another taste of freedom in exchange for that insight. That creates an interesting dynamic between her, Polly, and Agent Crockett. In this issue we also get the hint that Agent Crockett appears to have more knowledge about the imaginary beings then initially hinted at. We also get a bit more about Melba and her past.

The art by Stephen Molnar merges reality and imaginary as the investigation unfolds. The art gives us a nice view of a frightened small-town in Kentucky and the every day life in the process. The art does an excellent job of blending the fantastical and the grounded.

In two issues the series has given us a nice twist on the police procedural in a world that feels both realistic and a bit scary.

Story: Tim Seeley Art: Stephen Molnar
Color: Quinton Winter Cover: Richard Pace
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: The Gravediggers Union #1

Deadly Class co-creator Wes Craig launches a new series with art by rising star Toby Cypress! The supernatural world has gone crazy! The apocalypse is coming, and only the Gravediggers Union can stop it! How? Well, first their leader Cole has to find his estranged daughter. But is she the one behind the apocalypse? Wild comedic horror with steroid zombies, monster gods, swamp vampires, ghost storms, and space monkeys! OVERSIZED FIRST ISSUE

Crazy is more than likely an understatement, with The Gravediggers Union #1. Writer Wes Craig starts things off with a confusing but intriguing first few pages, before things shift to a modern setting. The debut issue shows a world that’s falling apart at the seams, as supernatural events become increasingly dangerous and frequent. A talking zombie shares a cryptic hint forcing us to question what’s presented and what’s causing these events.

The art style by Toby Cypress and Niko Guardia changes styles as the issue progresses. The issue presents two distinctive art styles from both artists involved. One shows off the darker side of the world while the other shows the everyday lives of those who fight against the supernatural threat to Earth. It’s an interesting way to really emphasize things and does so through the art style.

Story: Wes Craig Art: Toby Cypress, Niko Guardia
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Deadman #2

Hold the cover of Deadman #2 up to the light and the danger that was invisible seconds before will be revealed! Now, any lingering doubt that Deadman was deliberately murdered in cold blood, and not as a test for the Hook to join the League of Assassins, is put to rest once and for all!

Neal Adams delivers another solid issue in series. Much like the first issue, the second manages to bring in a few other DC characters including The Phantom Stranger and Etrigan. And also like the first issue, they’re not the best help to Deadman as he tries to find Hook and his former sensei. Much like the first issue, the inclusion of the characters’ odd arrivals creates an interesting twist in the story as how Adams uses each characters’ particular talents to Deadman’s aid.

The art by Adams is impressive. Adams uses a couple of contrasting settings on Deadman’s journey as well as bringing in some entertaining fight scenes that uses Deadman’s abilities and seeing him fights as himself or as a possessed body.

This is one for Adams fans. If you enjoyed the first issue, the second continues the journey Adams has crafted and the art shows off why he’s considered one of the best.

Story: Neal Adams Art: Neal Adams
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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